Tariq Anwar with Congress president Rahul Gandhi. (ANI/Twitter)
Almost two decades after quitting the Congress, Tariq Anwar on Saturday re-joined the grand old party on Saturday after meeting its chief Rahul Gandhi in New Delhi.
On September 28, Anwar resigned from the NCP and gave up his Lok Sabha membership after Sharad Pawar's "defence" of Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the Rafale fighter jet deal. Later, Pawar had clarified that he was misquoted and he didn’t give any clean chit to Modi.
Delhi: Former NCP leader Tariq Anwar joined Congress in presence of party president Rahul Gandhi pic.twitter.com/hRiY1pzTji— ANI (@ANI) October 27, 2018
On Saturday, Anwar along with his supporters met Gandhi at his Tughlaq Lane residence and was welcomed into the party fold.According to sources, the former MP from Katihar Lok Sabha constituency would make a formal announcement of his joining the Congress party later in the day.Soon after Anwar resignation from the NCP, the Congress, seeing an opportunity ahead of the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, said he was "welcome" to return to the party from where he started his political career.
Before joining hands with Pawar and late Meghalaya leader PA Sangma to form the Nationalist Congress Party in 1999, Anwar worked as the Bihar Congress president in the 1980s and had represented his current parliamentary constituency Katihar as a Congress MP.Anwar served as a Union minister in the UPA-II government after the NCP allied with the Congress.
The announcement, made by Anwar in his parliamentary constituency, was seen as a politically significant development for possible alignments in Bihar, where Congress, NCP and RJD have been part of the 'grand alliance or Mahagathbandhan' against the BJP and its allies.
Anwar's Katihar constituency has a large number of Muslim voters and any indication towards his party or party leaders being sympathetic towards the BJP or Modi government could be politically incorrect, party leaders said.Anwar had managed to win the 2014 Parliamentary elections from Katihar as the NCP had fought at that time in alliance with the RJD and the Congress.
(With PTI inputs)